Lita’s 45 minutes to escape marriage
Lita Ford says she took a 45-minute opportunity to escape her “mentally, physically, sexually abusive” marriage – and feared her relationship with ex-husband Jim Gillette would be “the end” of her.
She says her recent divorce from Gillette, that’s left her unable to see her two children, was the “darkest, most horrible” time of her life.
And she suspects former manager Sharon Osbourne believes she slept with Ozzy – even though she insists she didn’t.
Ford is touring new album Living Like A Runaway, in which she explores the story of surviving her marriage to Gillette, in the hope her sons will one day be allowed to hear it.
She tells CleveScene.com: “I had 45 minutes to get out of the house. I grabbed my keys one day, got my guitars and put them in a neighbour’s house. I had prepared to leave.
“This guy is just a freak. He was abusive – mentally, physically, sexually. He’s horrible.”
In a separate interview Ford tells Classic Rock Revisited: “I was afraid for years to leave. I got to the point where I knew it was time to make a break for it. I thought I wasn’t going to live very long. I really thought it was going to be the end of me – I had to leave.
“If a woman feels she is being controlled and verbally, physically or emotionally abused, she has got to find a way to get out of there. Just say, ‘Honey, I’m going to get a bottle of milk at the store,’ leave and don’t come back. You may have to do it one step at a time and get things ready. You may have to set up a place where you can go when you’re ready to leave. It takes a lot of balls, it really does. Think of a way to get out.”
Meanwhile, the former Runaways guitarist says she’s hurt that her relationship with the Osbournes broke down.
“I saw Sharon recently in LA and she didn’t want to talk to me – it hurt my feelings because I love her,” Ford explains.
“I severed our ties because Sharon was in really deep ice with Ozzy. It was affecting my career. He had choked her and she had pressed charged. During that whole time I was like, ‘I have a gig tonight – do you think you could answer my phone call?’
“It wasn’t anything against Sharon. I love her. When I look back on those days I wonder if she thought I was having sex with Ozzy. He was screwing everything that moved – but I would never do that to her, nor did I want to.
“I don’t know if she knows I didn’t. Ozzy probably doesn’t remember if he did or didn’t.”